Intrigued by the tenuous connection between past, present and future and the shadowy, illusive meaning of time, Annie Woodford makes work that is both haunting and enigmatic. Shifting boundaries between science and metaphysics and an enduring interest in parallel universe theory instill the pieces with a heightened intensity, whilst an obsession with hidden worlds has prompted her investigations into microscopy and the nano universe - making the unseen seen.
Captivated by the natural world and our mysterious, infinite universe - whether seen at macroscopic or microscopic levels - she finds them the source of endless fascination and wonder. Mankind’s place within that universe and the dichotomy between our wish for progress and our proclivity for self-destruction, has become a central theme.
A passion for frozen environments and the message they embrace, not only from the past but also for the future of our planet has resulted in research trips to the Arctic and Iceland and a detailed study of the coldest place on Earth – Antarctica.
The work exhibits qualities that reflect the natural world, elements that highlight its beauty and transience. Fragile, frangible, complex and esoteric, delicately balanced between risk and control, her pieces float and oscillate between absence and presence, hovering silently in a place between.
‘Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere’ Blaise Pascal, mathematician, poet, philosopher.
Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA İstanbul, Turkey
March 02 — April 07, 2012
Ebru Özseçen combines her experience in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art to explore different aspects of psychological and sociological relationship between space and body. Her work presents great diversity; ranging from urban intervention to sculpture and objects, from photography to video, from film installations to drawings. The artist is concerned with the dualities of inside/ outside and public/private; and explores individual memory in contemporary society. Ebru Özseçen investigates the seemingly mundane to expose its magical and unseen aspects. She reveals a space where fantasy and memory hide in plain sight.
It is impossible to disregard the gender aspect in Özseçen’s work, in which she indiscriminately plays with the androgynous form – the phallus, vulva, uterus or scrotum. At times pushing the boundaries of pornographic obscenity, the artist always places erotic intensity in the foreground. On the other hand, in many of her works it is possible to see Özseçen driven by her deep-seated admiration for the tradition of artisanship. The artist is drawn to the sensual quality of the form and the beauty of a well-accomplished object. This approach invites us to interpret the artist’s practice from a new perspective. Özseçen’s sharp gaze on the form, and her romantic obsession with the beautiful, the pure, and the unsoiled confront us as sharp yet sensitive, violent yet graceful works that have been refined in the hands of a craftsman.
Özseçen’s new work, Gerçek Aşk Gönül Eşi / True Love Soul Mate (2011), which will constitute the backbone of the exhibition at Rampa, is comprised of over 100 separate glass pieces. This work is realized in collaboration with Mayer of Munich and Glasshütte Lamberts, which are among the most prominent handmade glass studios of the world that has for the first time opened its doors to contemporary arts for this work. Each piece is produced in different sizes and forms with hours of effort in 1450-degree ovens. Recalling many of Özseçen’s work, heat once more emerges as a dominating component in this work, both as a physical force and as an allegory. For this work, the artist divulges that “the concept of true love and soul mate employed in the title should be sought not in the realm of romantic love, but rather in companionship, camaraderie as signified in the craftsman’s delicate touch on the objects he has amorously devoted himself to.” Installing two of her works of the same form together, one from the beginning and the other from the most recent phase of her career, Özseçen incites the audience to trace a playful phantom form.
Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen: Geometrical Evolution / Copenhagen Ceramics, Denmark
March 1-24, 2012
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 3rd, 2pm
Copenhagen Ceramics presents a new exhibition with works by Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen, two highly experienced ceramists with a particularly well-developed sense of operating visually within one of the great fields of inspiration for ornamentation – the world of geometry.
Karen Bennicke and Steen Ipsen have both repeatedly returned to this inexhaustible source of astonishment and fascination, and for their first exhibition together they offer new and surprising visual interpretations of geometric phenomena.
Karen Bennicke has for many years remained a remarkable profile within the context of contemporary ceramics, in Denmark and internationally. First and foremost, she is a real form-person. Her ceramic objects are typically characterized by a great complexity of form; they are spatial visions, often constructions reminiscent of contemporary architecture. Through self-defined systems and an almost intuitive mathematical construction-method, she arrives at surprising, poetic expressions somewhere between exactitude, the illogical and occasionally even the absurd.
Light and shadow are always important factors in Karen Bennicke’s sculptures. In the new works the choice of material helps to emphasize the multi-faceted surface, that has resulted from her process this time. The unglazed, matt clay surfaces enhance the great variation of light and shadow, bringing to mind the kaleidoscopic universe of crystals; a recurrent theme in her oeuvre, and one she has intensively been working on in recent years.
The precise approach of the textbooks is not defining the relationship with geometry for Steen Ipsen either. He perceives geometry as images and pattern. From the very start of his ceramic career he has had a keen eye for the ornamental potential within the universe of geometric form. Early examples of this are his large porcelain vessels from the 1990ies with strict, repetitively faceted forms, that turn into brightly colored patterns on the surface. In later works he has thematically explored repetition in the form – or the ’variation of repetition’, as was his title for an earlier exhibition.
Jaime Alvarez: Memento / Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, USA
March 2 - April 1, 2012
Opening reception: Friday, March 2, 6pm-10pm
Tiger Strikes Asteroid is pleased to announce its March 2012 exhibition, Memento, the first solo exhibition by TSA member Jaime Alvarez.
Alvarez’s work explores particular details of icons that function within a larger established structure or ideology. He examines and subverts the idea of memory encapsulated within objects, which share an established history of decorative use.
“In allegory, the vision of the reader is larger than the vision of the text; the reader dreams to an excess, to an overabundance. To read an allegorical narration is to see beyond the relations of narration, character, desire. To read allegory is to live in the future, the anticipation of closure, beyond the closure of narrative.” Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
Memento is a collection of one hundred framed photographs of second hand souvenirs. The figurines have been painted black, lit, and photographed from the rear or three quarters view, denying the viewer the “familiar” frontal view of the objects. Alvarez’s manipulation liberates the figurines, freeing them of past associations. The once ubiquitous statuettes are transformed into a sublime tableau. The objects speak a completely new language. Imbued with emotion, they become powerful talismans, gazing into the void.